An Open Letter On Software Patents and EU Election
Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:00 am
Glanz of [url=http://promote-opensource.org/]Promote OpenSource[/url] wrote:Before I present you with this Open Letter from Alan Cox allow me to throw in my two cents in the form of the following "blue editorial"..., in which I play the devil's advocate in full "what-if" mode......
Looking to the Law
We are being tricked into "looking to the law". We are being told to vote in our respective countries to counter incompetent leadership, injustices, and criminal behavior of politicians. We are being told to take refuge in "the law of the land" while that law is controlled and manipulated by martial states such as the US and monopolistic economic interests that themselves take refuge in the individual rights reserved for real flesh and blood individuals because they have had themselves declared "corporate persons" by bribery and extortion. We are being told to trust the law of the land when a fascist action of an Irish fascist leader of the EU nullifies the last vestige of democracy under his reign for a few favors from Microsoft and the US Government for his country.
We are being sold out by "the law". The law is no longer a solution. It is time to "look away" from the law....
"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
Alan Cox wrote: Most of the time the ability to influence Politicians is remarkably limited. They ignore letters, and often all the major parties reflect only large proprietary interests, ensuring you get CDs that won't play in a car, arrested for helping the blind read protected ebooks and prevented from writing and using software by the patent lobby, intent on locking up technical creativity the same way the soviets locked up the typewriter.
In about a week you get an opportunity to send the EU politicians a message they cannot ignore - but sadly only 18% of UK citizens will bother to do so. While most British people would like to ignore the EU, the simple fact is that it is the EU that passed the EUCD, it is the EU that can fight software patents and it is the EU that is currently working to create even more draconian "intellectual property rights" laws.
This letter is aimed at the other 82% of hackers, open source enthusiasts, or just people who want the rights to use CD's they paid for fairly and honestly. That little piece of cardboard is your chance to call the EU to account, and thanks to the EU voting system you can make a difference, in fact you count five fold due to the expected low turnout.
There are two parties that are fundmanetally opposed to things like Software Patents.The Green-EFA alliance (Green Party, Plaid Cymru and friends) have been fighting the patent fight from the beginning including organising events in Brussels, as well as fighting to make the EU more democratic (to stop unelected Beaurocrats overturning the will of the parliament). The UKIP (UK Independance Party) is opposed on the ground that EU legislation like software patents clogs up British business and harms Britain as a sovereign nation. Unlike our parliamentary elections the EU voting system means it is not a two horse race.
To defeat software patents now needs an absolute majority in the parliament. That is going to be hard to achieve, but you get to adjust the make up of the parliament, and every vote is going to count.
Please, if you were not going to vote, either vote for the UKIP or Green-EFA alliance members. Ideally pick the one of the two that is most likely to win in your area, but if you have philosophical reasons for favouring one of the two (such as a dislike of the EU) please go vote for the one you favour. These are the people who will have to decide how to fix the EUCD, these are the people who will have to decide on Software Patents. Whether you believe in the EU or not, the people you vote for (or the pro patent, pro DRM people who will get in by default if you do not vote) will dictate your future rights.
The turnout in the UK is expected to be 18%. That favours anyone who can mobilize and get out and vote. It's a one off opportunity to kick the pro-patent lobby somewhere that hurts.
Vote, get your friends and families to vote, get LUGs to vote en-masse. Call out the troops - it's payback time...